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Monday, July 21, 2014

DFA Appeals To OFWs In Libya To Return Home Immediately

The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly reiterates its call to all Filipino nationals in Libya to return home as soon as possible.

DFA in a statement said Alert Level 4 has been raised due to the latest security developments in Libya, the increasing violence and lawlessness, the closure of major airports, the heightened security threat to Filipinos, particularly in Benghazi, where a Filipino worker was kidnapped on July 15 and  was confirmed dead Saturday.

These events indicate that it is no longer safe for our OFWs to remain in Libya, DFA reiterates and asks OFWs that for their own safety to immediately contact the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli to register for repatriation.

Since the start of the crisis, DFA said it has continuously monitored the security developments in Libya while remaining sensitive to the needs of overseas Filipino workers in that country.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario headed to Libya on May 28 to personally assess the situation on the ground. The DFA subsequently raised the Alert Level to 3 (Voluntary Repatriation) on May 29 due to the political and security instability there. A Rapid Response Team, as well as an augmentation team from the DFA, were also sent shortly to Libya to assist the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli in the repatriation efforts.

The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli reached out to the Filipino community and to employers in Libya to brief them on the situation and inform them of DFA’s responses to the crisis. Embassy officers made representations with employers to promote the labor interests of OFWs and obtain employers’ cooperation to ensure their safety.

The DFA also put up 24-hour hotlines for families of OFWs in Libya. Those who have questions and concerns about the conditions of their relatives in Libya can call the hotline numbers (02) 552-7105 / (02) 834-4685. Families may also send their queries by e-mail to

To register for repatriation, OFWs in Libya can directly get in touch with the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli. The Embassy's address is KM 7 Gargaresh Road, Abu Nawas, P.O. Box 12508, Tripoli. Filipinos can contact the Embassy through the telephone numbers (00218) 918-244-208 / (00218) 911061166, and the e-mail addresses;

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Top Ten Ways to Avoid Illegal Recruitment in Working Abroad

The majority of the Filipino workforce dreamed of working abroad.  That is why many Filipinos are giving up a lot of their resources or assets just to work abroad.  However many are also taking advantage of aspiring Overseas Filipinos Workers (OFW) and trying to make a quick buck from them.

This article will explain how aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers can avoid illegal recruitment and saved their money from being handed over to the wrong people.

1. Apply only to recruitment agencies that are licensed or accredited by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).  Not all recruitment agencies in the Philippines are allowed to deploy Filipinos abroad, a recruitment agency needs to comply with the requirements set by the POEA such as the escrow account, business licenses, etc.  

2.  Deal only with licensed agencies with valid job orders.     

3. Conduct business only with persons who is an authorized representative of a licensed agency.  One of the policy of POEA for the licensed recruitment agency is for them to register their employees with the POEA.  

4.  Transact business within the registered address of the agency. Whenever recruitment is conducted in the province, check if the agency has a provincial recruitment authority.     

5.  Pay not more than the allowed placement fee. It should be equivalent to one month salary, exclusive of documentation and processing costs.   

6.  Do not pay any placement fee unless you have a valid employment contract and an official receipt.  The official receipt will serve as an evidence just in case the OFW wishes to file a case against the Philippine Recruitment Agency.

7.   Do not be enticed by ads or brochures requiring you to reply to unknown address such as a Post Office (P.O.) Box.  Furthermore do not enclose or send payment for processing of papers to an unverified person or entity.

8.   Do not deal with training centers and travel agencies, which promise overseas employment.  Take note that travel agencies and training centers are not allowed to recruit aspiring Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).  

9.   Do not accept a tourist visa.

10.  Don't deal with fixers.

Remembering these points on how an aspiring Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) can avoid illegal recruitment can save the jobseeker's hard earned money from persons taking advantage of the jobseeker's endeavor in working abroad.

Total Deployment Ban Imposed On All OFWs Bound For Afghanistan

Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz  announced that the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Governing Board (GB) has ordered a total ban on the processing and deployment of all returning/vacationing overseas Filipino workers bound for Afghanistan, following the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) issuance of Crisis Alert Level 3 (Voluntary Repatriation Phase) for Afghanistan, which has been experiencing tension following the conduct of the Presidential Elections held last 14 June 2014.

Governing Board Resolution No. 15, Series of 2014, was signed by DOLE Secretary and POEA GB Chairman Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, POEA Administrator and Vice-Chair of the Governing Board Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and members Felix M. Oca, Estrelita S. Hizon, Alexander E. Asuncion, and Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal.

The deployment ban on new hires for Afghanistan provided under Governing Board Resolution No. 8 issued on 17 December 2007 is still in effect.

In a letter to Baldoz, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert E. Del Rosario stated that Alert Level 3 is issued when violent disturbances or external aggression occur in a limited area.

"Filipinos are enjoined to return to the country. However, the cost of repatriation must be borne by their respective companies," Secretary Del Rosario stated in his letter.

The Philippine Embassy in Islamabad estimated that there are around 5,250 Filipinos in Afghanistan mostly working for US contractors. POEA records in 2013 reveal that they are mostly composed of production supervisor and general foremen, production workers, machine fitters and assemblers, stock clerks, engineers, transport equipment operators, electrical wiremen and electrical and electronics engineering technicians.

Despite incidents of violence, the Presidential Elections of Afghanistan pushed through on June 14, 2014 with around 7 million people voting. There were reportedly 150 attacks which killed 10 Afghan soldiers, 14 civilians, and 19 insurgents and injured many more.

Baldoz said that OFW-repatriates who expressed preference to go back overseas in countries other than their original deployment destination can avail of the government’s employment facilitation service provided by the POEA’s Manpower Registry Division, located at the ground floor of the POEA Building and headed by officer-in-charge Cora Orticio. They can be reached through telephone numbers (02) 722-1172; 722-1176; and 722-9497.

She further said that the POEA’s manpower registry division will provide the information on POEA-approved job orders, countries of destination, licensed recruitment agencies, job position, and salaries so that the OFWs can compare and choose which countries they would like to work again in a similar position with more or less similar pay and other benefits.

The added that administrator Cacdac is also setting up a desk at the POEA with a staff complement to provide re-employment facilitation services, as well as relevant information, to repatriates.

“I have instructed Administrator Cacdac to disclose all relevant market information to the public every time the POEA issues a ban on deployment so that OFW returnees can make wise and rational decisions about their plans. These labor market information includes occupations, skills, and wages in the country and in alternative destinations for those seeking employment or re-employment, as well as employment prospects or labor market analysis that includes information on deployment process and cost, visa information, and market players, or local and foreign placement agencies,” said Baldoz.

OFW-repatriates with money claims and other legal problems are attended to by the legal assistance division (LAD) under the Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch headed by Atty. Rose Duquez. The LAD is located at the fourth floor of the POEA Building along Ortigas Avenue in Mandaluyong City and can be reached through telephone numbers (02) 722-1189.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Immigration Staff Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Illegal Recruitment

Two employees of an immigration consultancy firm were sentenced to life imprisonment for illegal recruitment in large scale by the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City.

In a Decision, Judge Rose Mary R. Molina-Alim of RTC Branch 3 Baguio City found the two accused, Rodolfo A. Domingo Jr. and Roliza S. Batag, guilty of engaging in the recruitment of overseas Filipino workers without the proper authorization from the POEA.

Domingo and Bantag were employees of Global Consultancy Management Services located at 117 Cresencia Village, Baguio City.

41 complainants, most of them from Baguio City, alleged that the two employees collected from them placement fees amounting to PhP35,000 up to PhP170,000 in consideration of the promised employment as domestic helpers for Canada; butchers, factory workers and civil engineers for Australia; and electronic technicians for South Korea with salaries ranging from PhP60,000 to

Under Republic Act No. 8042 as amended by Republic Act No. 10022, offering overseas employment in the guise of visa assistance without the necessary license or authority from the POEA constitutes illegal recruitment.

source:  POEA